Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Day 97: Seeking civil discourse and some positive persuasion

12 to 6, coincidentally,
Day 97 (12 Mar) Tuesday and it's up the highway to the SunCoast. That means another early start but this morning we were greeted by a lovely cloudscape which suggested a lifting of the relentless rain (although that didn't eventuate, as it happened). 

It wasn't quite 6.12am when I took this shot, indeed it was about 12 to 6 but it was such a pleasant sight while the kettle was boiling that I indulged a little. 

I was attending to some papers and preparing for work at the appointed time this morning. There was an advanced language class to prepare and that involves choosing some current affairs event in Japanese to work through in class. The internet has added a marvellous dimension to teaching a foreign language. Today I can click on to a video of Japanese news, with a transcript and students get visual and aural experiences immediately. 

Coffee and work, at 6.12am
It is a dramatic contrast with my undergraduate studies some 30 years ago when we would have to wait three months for newspapers to arrive in the library, via sea mail, and then they were compressed into a format resembling a phone book (despite being broadsheet in real life). The news was 'old' so it just became reading practice really. 

Today, by contrast, the NHK news will be up on the the web within minutes of it being on TV in Japan and I can click on via twitter, watch and listen. I know it makes me sound old, and I am, but I still marvel sometimes at how this all happens. Most of the news yesterday and today of course centred on the Fukushima nuclear disaster and particularly the tsunami memorials. So much remains so visible. 

6.12pm. Must be the office
A long day in the office really punctuated by work and also an extended teleconference. People come and go in my office, all day and into the evening it seems. 

So at 6.12pm, surprise, surprise...there I was at the computer answering emails which had piled up during the day. I could easily stay in the office until 10pm each night and still not be done. ...Oh, wait...

Sippy Downs at 8.12pm, 6.12pm Perth time
It really does look like my day swings between coffee in the morning and the desk at night. Thinking about this last week, I thought I would try to capture a random photo each day to detract from the mundane side of my life. Yes, I am a creature of habit, I've demonstrated that thus far. While the 12 to 6 one this morning was a coincidence, as I was walking to my car this evening, the light on the trees caught my eye and I thought, why not. Took out the camera and it was 8.12pm, I kid you not. So here, after something of a hiatus, is a Perth 6.12pm, the trees at Sippy Downs.  

The major Australian news today seemed to continue to revolve around the suspension of four cricketers from the national team. I was also a little disappointed to hear of disturbances emerging from the public gallery in Parliament House today during Question Time. As a former staffer, I do have a respect for the traditions of the institution. I think a little friendly heckling of our politicians, in its place, is fine. However, calling the Prime Minister names from the gallery, and continuing to do so in defiance of the Speaker, well, no. I want civil discourse, positive persuasion. There is a bitterness in our politics at the moment that I don't like. I guess that's my job, in the classroom and in public fora, to argue for a better way to sustain a better society, a civil society. We can do it. 

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